California has enforced a new set of regulations to curb the unending spread of the coronavirus in the state as two of its most densely populated regions has been required to stay-at-home. Earlier warnings pointed that stricter measures needs to be taken before the government institutes set up to fight and treat patients of the covid-19 run out of its capacity.
The new stay-at-home order affects Southern California and San Joaquin Valley which are required to close public places such as bars, salons, barbershops while restaurants are left to remain open for delivery services.
The lockdown is expected to begin by 11:59pm on Sunday based on order that was announced on Wednesday by the state Governor Gavin Newsom.
The San Francisco Bay Area will also go into lockdown on Sunday night, under a different set of orders announced Friday by officials there.
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“We know that people are tired of the stringent measures, but they are the only weapons we have to combat the virus,” said Dr. Maggie Park, public health officer in San Joaquin County, in the state’s hard-hit farming region.
Just on Friday alone, more than 25,000 new cases of the COVID-19 were diagnosed in the state of California which is a record number since the beginning of the pandemic according to health officials in the state. The total death is about 19,791 including a recent 209 fatalities according to the officials.
Overall, the United States saw a record 228,407 new cases on Friday, and 2,568 deaths, according to a Reuters tally while more than 100,900 are said to have been hospitalized due to the coronavirus in the United States alone.
With that, the number of case has now increased by 22% over the past 2 weeks according to reports from Reuters but this numbers never reached the previous 14 days increase which was about 47%.
California’s statewide orders, which kick in whenever a region has less than 15% capacity available in its intensive care units, allow critical infrastructure to stay open, including schools that have obtained waivers allowing them to hold in-person classes. Dental offices will also remain open.
But due to the current political landscape in the country, this new order has been criticized by some opposing political figures who stated that closing small businesses and ordering people to stay indoor will do more harm to them than any good.
Other critics stated that a number of Democratic political figures such as San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Newsom were said to have dine in an expensive Napa Valley restaurant which was legally open but at a time when the virus was surging while officials urged the need to not socialize over the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Government lockdowns do not reduce cases or stop spikes,” Republican State Assemblyman James Gallagher, who represents a district north of Sacramento that is not yet affected by the shutdown, said in a press release after Newsom announced the regional plans.
The United states has the officially highest number of fatalities due to the COVID-19 pandemic with 279,000 currently recorded. The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation also projected that number to reach the excess of 539,000 by April 1st 2021 even with the availability of vaccines.